Our veteran community has been very active these past few months. The largest project we have been working on is the complete renovation of our County’s Veterans Memorial. This memorial has a granite monument for each of the wars our country has been involved in since the Revolutionary War through the current War on Terrorism. The names of 274 young men and women, from Alachua County, who died fighting in those wars, are engraved on those precious stones. Since its dedication in 1993 the memorial has been visited by thousands and has been the host site for our annual Community Veterans Day Ceremony. Due to its popularity the memorial is now in need of renovations. The estimated cost of this renovation was $180,000.00 and our community has responded in a most generous manner. Boosted by an initial donation of $80,000.00 from the Cade Foundation the fundraising is now over and the renovation is almost complete. All funds received were from private donors and not a cent of government money was used. We invite you to attend our re-dedication ceremony this Veterans Day, November 11, starting at 11:00 am. Skydivers will exit their aircraft high above Veterans Memorial Park to start the festivities that include military equipment displays, flag folding demonstrations, drill team exhibition, a K-9 show followed by music and a BBQ.

Forest Meadows Funeral Homes is now the proud owner of the WW II memorial that was removed from the County Veterans Memorial during the renovation process. This monument lists every casualty from our county and will be proudly maintained and displayed at their Military Garden of Honor off Hawthorne Road. Having this monument will just add to the patriotic environment in this special area that continues to host numerous community veteran related events.

Mark your calendars for Dec 17 as Forest Meadows will. Once again, be hosting the annual Wreaths Across America program. This nationwide ceremony ensures that every veteran’s gravesite has a patriotic wreath placed on it for the holiday season. Our local veterans have raised over $4000.00 and intend on distributing over 800 wreaths. We need you help in placing these wreaths and encourage you to take one to your special person no matter where they are buried. After we honor our deceased veterans a free lunch will be served to all.